If you were working on a newsdesk in California when you got reports of an earthquake, would you go and copy and paste the details from the the US Geological Survey email that was auto-generated.
Would you write when and where it happened and how powerful it was? Would you grab a map and encourage sub-editors to publish quickly?
Well, the Los Angeles Times would have already beaten you to it. It would have auto-published a post, complete with auto-generated headline, a map, and a Ken Schwencke’s byline, the person who wrote the code that auto-writes a story using information from the US Geological Survey.
In this podcast we hear about this example of robot reporting from the LA Times data desk and others, plus look at how internal databases can assist journalists. We also hear about recent data projects from the LA Times.
Journalism.co.uk technology editor Sarah Marshall speaks to:
- Ben Welsh, database producer, Los Angeles Times
- Brian Boyer, news applications editor, NPR and project leader on the PANDA project
- For more on the PANDA ‘data library’, see this article
- For more on robot reporting and the data desk at the LA Times, see Ben Welsh’s blog
- For a video from last week’s NICAR of Ben Welsh’s “five-minute rant” and Welsh telling coders the five things need to learn from reporters, see Chrys Wu’s NICAR round-up post on Nieman Lab
- For five ways robots can improve accuracy, journalism quality, see today’s post by Craig Silverman on Poynter
- #FollowJourn: @tombod/Welsh affairs correspondent
- TheseDigitalTimes: What to do when your blog post reappears without links and credit
- Trinity Mirror launches Welsh-language news site
- Western Mail journalist stands by translation article
- New York Times media desk gets the Hollywood treatment (sort of)